Egypt coroner says E. coli led to deaths of British couple in hotel

The Steigenberger hotel in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Hurghada is where the couple died.
The Steigenberger hotel in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Hurghada is where the couple died.PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO (REUTERS) - Egypt’s public prosecutor said on Wednesday (Sept 12) that E.coli bacteria was a factor in the deaths of two British tourists in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada last month.

The prosecutor said John Cooper, 69, was suffering from health problems but that E.coli was a cause of heart failure that led to his death.

Cooper’s wife Susan, 63, was also likely to have been affected by E.coli and died of gastroenteritis.

It gave the details in a statement of an official medical report after an investigation into their deaths.

Thomas Cook, which the couple was travelling with, moved 300 customers from the hotel they were staying in, the Steigenberger Aqua Magic, following the deaths on Aug 21.

The British tour operator had taken note of the prosecutor’s announcement.

“We have not yet seen the full report and we will need time for our own experts to review it,” it said in a statement.

Thomas Cook said earlier this month it had found a high level of E.coli and staphylococcus bacteria at the hotel they were staying in.

Local Egyptian officials initially said the Coopers both died of heart attacks, but the public prosecutor ordered an investigation.